DPVA Reportedly Names Dave Mills New Executive Director

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm hearing from reliable sources [UPDATE: I'm hearing from another reliable source that this may not be a "done deal." I'm trying to find out what's going on.] that the Democratic Party of Virginia has finally selected a new Executive Director after many months of searching. In the end, they settled on former Deeds for Governor finance guy Dave Mills. First, here's some more background on Mills from Decision Virginia:
Dave served as the State Finance Director for Brian Moran’s gubernatorial campaign. Prior to working for Moran, Dave was Finance Director for the Democratic Party of Virginia. He also worked on Governor Kaine’s inauguration and served as Deputy Finance Director on Kaine’s 2005 campaign.
Now, this is what I heard tonight in talking to a couple of Democratic Party insiders:

*Mills is a "very close to Dick Cranwell."
*He is "totally establishment" and "a great shmoozer."
*He is "Jennifer McClellan's hubby."
*He has a "very strong record as a fundraiser, but no record at all in any of the other areas" (field, grassroots organizing, etc.).
*He is "the most inside of inside candidates, a close ally of Cranwell, very one-dimensional"
*This is "a lost opportunity to get some fresh thinking, which he will not bring." *"People who are comfortable with 'inside choices' will receive this choice well."
*Mills' "ability to go beyond that one area [fundraising] is untested."
*"This could be a choice made out of intense frustration at not being able to find any other candidate, so they're going for somebody they can trust, but is that really what they need?"

So, overall, this doesn't sound too exciting to me from a grassroots/netroots, progressive activist perspective. Also, it seems to me that after the debacle of 2009, the DPVA should have gone in a completely new direction, bring in pretty much all new faces with a completely fresh approach. Instead, it appears that they're dancing with the "one that brung them." The problem is, these are the people who "brung" us to the November 2009 election disaster. Perhaps they know how to get us turned around, and I certainly hope they do, but forgive me for not brimming over with confidence about that.

UPDATE Wednesday morning: I'm hearing from another reliable source that this may not be a "done deal." Trying to find out more.